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Warsaw Event Highlights Potential of Climate Smart Agriculture

enbots-event512 November 2013: The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) organized this event, during which participants discussed 'Scaling Up CSA: Policies, Development and Mitigation Potentials.'

During the event, Merlyn VanVoore, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), introduced the 2013 Emissions Gap Report, highlighting the role of the agroforestry sector and its potential for emission reductions. Henry Neufeldt, ICRAF, reiterated the high mitigation potential of agriculture, via better cropland management, grazing land management and the restoration of cultivated soils. He identified existing challenges, inter alia: providing an enabling legal and political environment; improving market accessibility; involving farmers in project-planning; improving knowledge and training; improving tenure security; and overcoming high land costs.

Among the other speakers, Krystyna Gurbiel, Poland, acknowledged transitions in the European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), stating it has evolved from an income subsidy for farmers to a broader, multifunctional agricultural policy. Sheila Sisulu, Ambassador and Special Envoy of the Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, South Africa, asserted support for CSA, while recognizing many contradictions remain and that as a first priority, Africa should feed itself. Recognizing Africa as the “largest untamed landmass” to grow food and feed the world, Sisulu urged that countries invest in Africa, including in CSA and climate-smart technologies.

Wendy Mann, UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), highlighted that agriculture needs to generate multiple benefits, including food security, livelihood support, economic growth and climate adaptation. She emphasized CSA is equally dependent on farmer decision-making procedures. During the discussion, participants highlighted, inter alia: no-till policies in Africa; a methodology to measure GHGs; the role of youth and women; and CSA connected to “bigger picture issues” such as food security and sustainable development. [IISD RS ENBOTS coverage of 'Scaling Up CSA: Policies, Development and Mitigation Potentials'][IISD RS video coverage of the side event]